Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa Saturday launched her Assembly poll campaign by asking people to vote for AIADMK so she could continue her governance and the welfare measures implemented in the last five years. She also promised to introduce prohibition in the state in a phased manner if elected to power.
“Happiness of my people is my motive. I have been working for their betterment and welfare throughout my life,” she said at Islands Grounds near Marina beach. “When I became CM in 2011, power cuts were the order of the day. Now, they have become a thing of the past,” she said.
She also listed various schemes implemented by her government, especially for pregnant women and newborns. “My aim is to fulfil needs of every woman in the state. My government has fulfilled 54 promises made in the last polls for women, students, Sri Lankan refugees, and poor and middle class sections of society.”
On the opposition’s demand for prohibition, Jayalalithaa attacked DMK leader M Karunanidhi, saying he has no right to talk on the issue. For Karunanidhi, she said, promising prohibition has always been a strategy to lure voters. Responding to his statement that “AIADMK’s promises to bring prohibition cannot be believed”, she asked why he had made such a statement when it was a DMK government that had lifted prohibition in 1971. “Prohibition was launched in Salem in 1937 and extended in a phased manner. On January 30, 1948, total prohibition was launched in Tamil Nadu. It was relaxed in 1971 by the Karunanidhi government,” she said.
She also said liquor sales had doubled in the state during DMK rule. “Sale of liquor jumped 109 per cent during DMK rule between 2010-11. Beer sales also jumped from 1.32 crore cartons during AIADMK regime in 2005-06 to 2.86 crore in 2010-11. This year, it has come down to 2.31 crore. It can be understood that it was the DMK regime that made people drink more,” she said.
Jayalalithaa hit back at the opposition’s claims that her government mishandled Chennai floods. She said her government had successfully completed relief work and added, “Rs 658 crore has been paid as relief to flood victims. It was a major achievement for our government to control spread of communicable diseases after floods.”